Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Instant Reaction: Brock Boeser’s hat trick to hit 30 goals fuels Canucks’ comeback against Columbus
29 days ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below!
In today’s edition of Scenes from morning skate, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet emphasized his team’s need to stay focused during their last game until February 6th as the team heads into an extended All-Star break. The Canucks won’t play again until February 6th in Carolina, and with where they are in the standings, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that there’d be moments where the first-place Canucks lapped focus with one skate already out the door.
Through the first period, the Canucks seemingly dominated the Blue Jackets, but despite outshooting Columbus 11-4, hadn’t found the back of the net after 20 minutes.
The only real highlight was a sequence from Nikita Zadorov that included two hits, and a couple of nice saves from Thatcher Demko, but since hardly anything else happened in the first period, we’ll leave those few highlights for Cody Severtson to put in The Stanchies.
The second period was where this game really started.
The second period started with some more tenacity from the Canucks, and after a bit of embellishment from Elias Pettersson, the Canucks got an early power play opportunity. Unfortunately, the hockey gods don’t seem to like when you embellish, because EP40 bobbled the puck shortly thereafter, allowing Columbus to score on a shorthanded 2-on-1.
Things went from bad to worse from there for the Canucks, as back at 5-on-5, a defensive breakdown allowed the Jackets to make it 2-0 in a hurry.
Did we see things went from bad to worse already? Because if so, then things went from worse to even worser after that 2-0 goal. The Canucks were late on pucks, unable to break the puck out of their own end, and had to resort to icing the puck on multiple occasions.
Somehow, the Canucks scored the game’s next goal, as a strong shift from the third line led to everyone stepping up their game as some life was invigorated into the building again. That goal didn’t come from the third line though, it came from JT Miller setting up Brock Boeser for his 28th goal of the season:
This was a one goal game, and the Canucks looked poised to turn storm their way back in this one after falling asleep for most of the second. Instead, they went right back to sleep.
This time, it was JT Miller who was far too careless with the puck:
A Nikita Zadorov put the Canucks down a man late in the second, and the goal that followed effectively killed any momentum they had built in the second frame.
We’d imagine the message in the intermission was a fairly stern one from Tocchet, as his club was suddenly down 4-1 after being outscored in both the first and second periods.
The Canucks started the period on the man advantage, and with the first unit out, it really felt like if the Canucks were going to put up the four goals they needed to come back, they’d have to score one before Columbus returned to even strength. And thankfully, they did just that, as Elias Pettersson scored his 26th of the season:
Just minutes later, a strong effort to the net from JT Miller caused Dmitri Voronkov to take his second penalty of the game and put the Canucks right back on the man advantage. It was there that the Canucks’ stars quickly made this a one goal game once again.
This goal brought Brock Boeser one away from 30 on the season, which means it was a great time for me to tell you I told you so. (That link takes you back to a prediction I made back in August that Boeser would score 30 this year.)
The Canucks went right back to working hard at 5-on-5, and once again, the result was them earning another power play. This time, it was Conor Garland who drew a slashing penalty from Columbus captain Boone Jenner to put the Canucks back on the man advantage. The Canucks got their looks, and continued actually firing shots on goal, something they seemed scared to do earlier in the game.
On that power play, Boeser secured the hat trick goal to tie the game up, and with it, he officially hits 30 goals in a season for the first time in his career. This makes it an even better time for me to tell you I told you so.
Bedlam at Rogers Arena, as this one was tied up at four apiece.
The Canucks had been dominating the period to this point, and as expected, Columbus came back firing in an attempt to not allow five unanswered goals. Their best chance to do this came just past the halfway point of the period, as Tyler Myers was assessed five minutes and a game misconduct for elbowing Sean Kuraly in the head. You be the judge here — is this worthy of five minutes and a game misconduct for elbowing?
On the ensuing five minute power play, the Canucks generated better-looking chances than Columbus did. And Columbus had the man advantage. Truly, it was incredible stuff we were witnessing.
This one needed overtime to solve, and if the NHL were scripted, then this one would have ended with the Canucks completing the comeback off of Brock Boeser’s 31st of the season and taking two points as they head into a tie with the Boston Bruins for first in the NHL with 71 points in the standings heading into the All-Star break.
Unfortunately, the NHL doesn’t appear to be scripted, because it was Elias Pettersson who scored his second of the game to seal the comeback victory for the Canucks by a final score of 5-4.
Brock Boeser did set up the goal, though. Really makes you think.
My instant reaction tonight is simple. As fun as it is to pull the “I told you so” card on the Boeser 30 goals prediction, nobody saw this coming, not even me. When I made that prediction, I certainly didn’t say “Boeser will score 30 goals before the All-Star break.”
But that’s where we are.
Boeser, a player who has gone through so much adversity in his still young career, has finally hit 30 goals. As a highly-touted prospect with sky-high expectations after his rookie season, he may have taken the scenic route , but Boeser got there.
And tonight, that’s all that really matters.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
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